November 12 - November 18, 2021 | Week #11
This week: Reminder: No School 11/11 or 11/12 | Resources for Vaccine Awareness Day | Principal Selection Committee Update | Report Card Pick-Up | Weekly COVID Testing | Contact Tracing & COVID Travel Guidance | Important Traffic Reminders & Call for Safety Volunteers | Coming Soon: Clark's Reading Corner | Chicago Bulls High School Open House |
Resources for Vaccine Awareness Day

The quickest and easiest way to find a vaccine appointment:
Text your zip code to 438829
Call 1-800-232-0233

If you cannot find a convenient appointment through, here are some other options to get vaccinated:

Make an appointment to get a vaccine in your home
Call the City’s COVID-19 helpline at (312) 746-4835.
Make an appointment at a CPS Mobile Event
Make an appointment at a CPS School-Based Health Center

Supervised Programming for Children — The Chicago Park District will be offering “Schools Out, Parks Are In” programming from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at 44 locations around the city, and 11 parks will also provide drop-in programs at various times throughout the day and evening of Friday, November 12. Programs include sports, arts and crafts, board games, and other recreation opportunities. Click here for a list of programs. Click here to register your child for one of these programs. All park district programs are available to students ages 6 - 12, including children with disabilities. If a family has a child with unique needs, CPS is asking that the family contact our parent support helpline at 773-553-1840 or email our Parent Involvement Specialist team at: In addition, ODLSS can be reached at 773-553-1800.

Free Museum Admission — The Shedd Aquarium and Museum of Science and Industry will both be offering free admission to students on Friday, November 12. Click here for tickets to the Shedd; Click here for tickets to the Museum of Science and Industry.

CPS Grab-and-Go Meal Sites — Please click here to find a meal distribution site in your area.

Safe Haven for Students — 26 of our District’s Safe Haven locations will all be open and ready to welcome children. Parents can visit this link for a list of locations.
Principal Selection Committee Update

The selection committee is making great progress on the search for our new principal! The group met on Wednesday, 11/10 to review the following:
- Parent Community Survey
- Teacher Staff Survey
- Job Description

CPS legal will review the surveys and they will then be distributed into the community. The surveys hope to elicit feedback about our school needs to help inform the search for our new principal. 

The LSC will hold a special meeting next Wednesday, 11/17 at 6:15pm to vote on the job description. Join information will be sent as a special newsletter blast.

The Job Posting will be reviewed by CPS legal and then posted for 10 days. After the posting date expires, the LSC will receive applicant resumes for review.

Reminder: Report Card Pickup Information
for Parents/Guardians

Wednesday, November 17

Remote pickup will be from 11:45 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
In-person pickup will be from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

**If you have not received scheduling information from your child's teacher,
please reach out to them directly.
Sign up for weekly COVID testing

For the entire school year, CPS is offering COVID testing through a partnership with ThermoFisher Scientific and Color Health and their ReadyCheckGo™ testing program. This program is completely voluntary.

Read more:
Register for COVID Testing with Color Health
Contact Tracing

Families often have questions after a COVID notice is issued. Please refer to the flyer below to help address some of these questions.

Follow this link to view the PDF.
COVID Travel Guidance

With the holidays fast approaching, please review the COVID-19 Travel Guidance for Families below to consider in your travel plans.

Follow this link to view the PDF.
IMPORTANT: Safety Reminders & Call for Volunteers!
Help keep our Superstars Safe - Please follow these important safety reminders during AM drop-off and PM pick-up!

A friendly reminder to not double park on Throop St. or Adams St., please be patient and courteous to other families, and be mindful to our Superstars as they cross the streets.

We are forming a team of safety volunteers during drop-off and pick-up. If you are interested in joining, please send an email to
Coming Soon:
Clark's Reading Corner
Thank you again for making Walkathon a success!

Friends of Skinner West (FOSW) shared with Mrs. Clark that they will be honoring her legacy by purchasing a book vending machine named "Clark's Reading Corner". It will be customized with Skinner colors and dedicated to Mrs. Clark. Students can receive coins for positive behaviors that they can redeem for a free book. We look forward to its arrival at the school!
Chicago Bulls College Prep Open House
Chicago Bulls College Prep High School, a Noble Charter School, will hold their Open House on
Saturday, November 20th
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m..

Registration is Required. Scan the QR Code below, visit the website, or reach out for more information at

In case you missed it....
Greetings from Our Administrator In Charge

Dear Skinner West Community,

My name is Dr. Richard Smith and I will be the Administrator in Charge at Skinner West until the Local School Council has selected a new principal.

I am a retired CPS administrator and have held several positions with the Chicago Public Schools including; School Psychologist, School Principal (19 years), Chief Network Officer, and Chief Officer for the Office of Special Education and Supports. For the past 10 years I have been a Leadership Coach/Mentor for The Illinois Principals Association and an Administrator in Charge at approximately a dozen schools. I am also a baseball coach at Mather High School.

I have known Mrs. Clark for many years and am amazed at the tremendous legacy she has left at Skinner West. It is truly a remarkable school. The new principal clearly has big shoes to fill.

My biggest priority during the time I am at Skinner is to ensure the health, safety and welfare of every child and staff member. I will be a visible presence and accessible to everyone. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible during my time at your wonderful school.

Please feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions or concerns.

Dr. Richard G. Smith
LSC Virtual Meeting Information

The next LSC meeting will be held on
Tuesday, November 9 at 5:50 p.m.

All are welcome to attend.
Agenda to follow.

Join with Google Meet:

Join by phone: +1 574-213-7532 (PIN: 356195132)

Principal Selection Committee

Dear Skinner West students, teachers, faculty, parents and community members,

The Principal Selection Committee has been formed and we are energized to select our new principal. The committee will consist of our LSC members, Dr. Brown (AP) and Mrs. Christiansen (7th grade). Our intent is to make sure the committee represents the voices of all constituents. We recognize you have high expectations.

We're sure you have a lot of questions about how this process will run. In addition to open committee meetings, we will begin sending weekly communications via the newsletter to keep you updated on our progress alongside a timeline with key dates and milestones. 

We want to hear from you! We are planning several ways for you to share your input about our school needs. Stay tuned for more information about how you can share your input about Skinner’s school culture and climate. 

An exciting journey lies ahead!

Warm Regards,
Your LSC

Fadi Matalka - chair, parent representative
Melinda Young (Sgariglia) - vice-chair, parent representative
Aisha Crump - parent representative
Sheila Howard - staff representative
Brett Hughes - parent representative
Ryan Johnson - teacher representative
Matt Letourneau - parent representative
Stephanie Macja - community representative
Marla Sedler - community representative
Nell Strong - parent representative
Ramel Warner - teacher representative
Welcome Dr. Smith!
Dr. Smith is a retired principal who will be temporarily at Skinner West for the next 2-3 months until we hire a permanent principal.

Dr. Smith adores children and spent the week popping into classrooms and introducing himself. In the next couple weeks, he will be stopping in the primary grade classrooms to play his guitar and sing with the little ones!

He is very hands on and approachable! Dr. Smith is enthusiastic and extremely happy to be here! It is so great to have him!
Superstar Spotlight
4th Grade Student Sophia Mohammad
Room 216: Mrs Johnson's Class

On October 27th, Sophia Mohammad co-hosted Chicago's Once Upon Our Time Capsule Sealing Ceremony. The First Lady of Chicago Amy Eshleman and Commissioner Chris Brown were in attendance. They had kind words to say about Skinner Fourth Grader Sophia. This event was covered by the WGN News and the Chicago Sun Times.

The family would also like to take this opportunity to thank Skinner for providing Sophia with incredible learning opportunities and a love for reading and learning. Earlier this year she was the only child featured on a podcast produced by the Obamas. Her artwork is also on display at the Royal Ontario Museum - part of their pandemic series.
Meet Mrs. Hoesel Gonzalez B.Ed (She/Her)
Meet Mrs. Hoesel Gonzalez. She just moved to Chicago, IL from Las Vegas, NV. This is her 9th year of teaching. She has taught in both the Las Vegas and Phoenix Valley. Mrs. Gonzalez graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education with an ESL and Early Childhood Endorsement from the University of Phoenix in 2016 and is currently in the process of obtaining a Master's Degree in Education, Culture, and Society.

She lives with her husband and 2 dogs. Her favorite hobbies are photography, hiking, baking, candle making, and sculpting clay.

Fun Fact: She loves all things spooky.
Happy Diwali!
Skinner West would like to wish all who celebrate a Happy Diwali!

We are so fortunate to have such a diverse group of students here at Skinner. Ms. Growe’s kindergarten class had a parent volunteer come and teach us all about the Diwali traditions.

The children painted, listened to stories and even learned how to do traditional Bollywood dancing! It was such a fun day and a wonderful learning experience.
Veterans Day Camp

West Loop Soccer Club will be running a full-day soccer camp indoors on November 11.